Robinsons Brewery was founded in 1838 and is now one of United Kingdom’s largest regional brewers. It has an estate of over 370 public houses stretching from northern Cumbria through the Lake District, North Wales, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Currently, the company is continuing to concentrate on the expansion of wholesale, free trade, off-trade activity and state-of-the-art brewing and bottling facilities.
With a large estate and vast amounts of information, Robinsons recognised a need to effectively unite a mass of information by overhauling its existing reporting system. Extracting data from different sources – Dynamics NAV, SQL data warehouse & Excel – meant that reporting had become an expensive and time-consuming process that was taking up to two weeks to create. It was acknowledged that a more time-efficient and economical system was crucial to support the continued growth of the business.
In response to the company’s need to find an alternative reporting system, Robinsons started looking for an IT solution and in 2010, after considering a range of different options, QlikView was selected as the most suitable product, based on Robinsons Brewery’s specific needs. It then chose QlikView Elite Solution Provider Informance to construct a one-day ‘Seeing is Believing’ QlikView application based on Robinsons immediate requirement and specification. Informance demonstrated its crucial ability to fully understand the business processes in order to efficiently turn these requirements into a fully working business intelligence tool. Once this working prototype was presented to the business, a quick decision was made to purchase and roll out an enhanced version of the QlikView Business Discovery solution. In fact the decision was a ‘no-brainer’ in terms of functionality and cost.
Originally, QlikView was introduced for the use of the business development managers as a core part of their role involves travelling to 400 public houses, who Robinsons supply, to discuss their business performance. As part of these meetings, different trends were discussed to provide valuable insight into their business. These included; trading patterns, rents, volumes and sales data. Using QlikView’s user-driven business discovery application, the business development managers were able to access this vital information, which was easy to analyse, presented in digestible graphs and charts and located in one place.
Simon Burchill, IT Systems Manager for Robinsons says: “The previous reporting system which had traditionally been used by the business development managers created static reports, which were cumbersome to create and use. But QlikView offers a completely different user experience – it’s intuitive and allows information to be drilled-down into and cross-referenced easily.”
The QlikView solution provides an effective and easy to use tool, which offers invaluable insights that are being used to guide future business initiatives. QlikView also offers Robinsons instant visualisation of data which has led to significant time savings, as well the flexibility to create a number of template charts that lend themselves to user-driven discovery rather than having to write bespoke reports, as was the case with the old reporting system.
Now, due to the success of QlikView, it has been more widely deployed throughout Robinsons by different departments – at their request. QlikView’s use has been extended to provide valuable insights for the marketing, finance, sales, quality control and utilities departments.
Simon Burchill, IT Manager, Robinsons says: “Since QlikView was deployed it has changed the way employees view data – our staff wanted to be able to take control of their data, which is something that only QlikView has enabled them to do”. He continues: QlikView sells itself and it has done internally within our business. People are requesting QlikView for their own departments which is something I haven’t seen in the 26 years I’ve worked at Robinsons”.
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